The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma claims that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild experience will be the same on Wii U and Nintendo NX.
Nintendo brought The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to E3 2016 in a big way, dedicating most of its E3 Treehouse presentation to the game. Series producer Eiji Aonuma answered a lot of questions about the upcoming title during the event, and in the process revealed to fans that the game will be the same experience regardless of if one plays it on the Wii U or the Nintendo NX.
It is assumed that the NX will boast far greater graphical capabilities than the Wii U, but even so, fans shouldn't expect the NX version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to have improved visuals. It also doesn't appear as though the game will sport any extra features in the NX version, so Wii U owners don't have to feel like they're missing out by picking up the current-gen version of the game instead.
While the Nintendo NX is still very much a mystery, Aonuma's comments about the new Zelda may offer hints as to what to expect from the console. For example, players will be able to play through the game with the GamePad or the Wii U Pro Controller. The fact that Breath of the Wild is compatible with the Pro Controller may be an indication that the NX will use a more traditional controller than the last two Nintendo consoles. Otherwise it would be strange for Nintendo to create a completely separate control scheme just for the people that happen to own a Pro Controller on Wii U.
If the NX does use a traditional controller, it would stand at odds with previous speculation about the device. Some Nintendo controller patents seem to suggest that the NX controller will sport an oval-shaped touchscreen, and that it will even be usable away from the console itself. Ultimately, we won't know for sure how Nintendo is designing the NX controller until the company is ready to talk about the device, but such an unveiling should take place within the next few months.
Nintendo's choice to keep the Wii U and NX versions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the same experience will likely please the company's loyal fans. There are some that purchased a Wii U for the express purpose of playing Zelda, so it's nice that they won't have to feel like they're missing out on anything by not buying the new Nintendo console right away.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available in 2017 for Wii U and Nintendo NX.